Not Done Yet! Diagnosis is not the finish line

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There is a point when it all comes screeching to a halt.

You’ve been merrily moving forward on your life journey, dodging and darting in and out through the light and heavy traffic that comes with the different phases of a life and something goes wrong.

What goes wrong?

Who knows?  It just stops.

Then some insensitive bastard playing at being a traffic cop tries to wave you forward along on your journey as though nothing has happened, and they’re not sharing, not talking, offering little to no explanation, expecting that you already understand it all.

Well, get used to it.  You’ve been diverted into a really awkward and awful detour.  And it is awful enough that even the medical professionals will tear up when talking about it until they can gauge the resiliency of you and your family.

The acknowledgement of the big “C” has been around for so long now and is no longer hidden in the shadows, and it dominates so much of our healthcare tech, and general conversation that everyone is supposed to know how this stuff works.

That’s just not true.

You should not be expected to understand the how, what, when, why of your situation without some sort of guidance.  Why would you have a clue about what’s going on if you haven’t been through it already?

The part that is really scary is that most of the people around you haven’t a clear understanding of any of this either.

Now its up to you. Yes, you.   It does fall to you.

Sure, you’ve just stalled on your life journey.  Are you going to just sit there, blocking traffic and hanging up your family and friends, or are you going to get moving?

If you’re not busy living you’re busy dying[1].

So just because you’ve got a cancer diagnosis doesn’t mean the journey through life stops.  We’re going to keep going, and you’re going to keep going.  What’s in question now is how are you going to restart the forward momentum of your life, and what does that mean to everyone else you touch?

Let’s be clear;  I’m not a lot of things.  I’m not a doctor, not a counsellor, I’m not an evangelist, even though some of what’s coming has scary echoes like its coming from a bar room preacher.  What I am is a survivor with something to say, some hints and advice that I’m willing to put on the table for your consideration.  My success is that I survived a cancer shit storm and I have an exemplary quality of life 10 years on from the point of diagnosis.  My life isn’t perfect, but I live well.   There may be a few lessons to be learned from reading through these blog posts.

[1] Vince Flynn; American Assassin, 2010, Atria Simon & Shuster

Key points once treatment starts;

  • Stay on top of the pain.
  • Hydrate, and moisturize your skin.
  • Stay ‘regular’.
  • Eat or they may offer you ‘the tube’. It does matter that they’ve offered or ‘threatened’ you with a ‘g’ tube, or a ”j’ tube.  The fact that they’re talking about it at all is an indication that you are approaching the threshold of nutritional deficit.  What does that mean?  It means you’re starving.  That is going to screw with your recovery and ‘successful outcomes’.  If they offer a tube; take it graciously or change your behaviour and your strategy for survival.

Now, let’s work on survival.